A non-citizen of the United States has been sentenced to eight years in jail for voting in an election here in Texas. Certainly we have not heard the last regarding the furor over the verdict, the evidence in the case, the circumstances behind the woman's ability to register to vote in Texas, and so forth.

The New York Times reports that 37-year-old Rosa Maria Ortega was born in Monterrey, Mexico and brought to the United States as a baby. When her mother was deported over a decade later, Ortega remained as a permanent resident.

According to Fox News, Ortega voted in five elections in Dallas before her registration was cancelled in 2015. As a registered voter, she took part in both the November, 2012 presidential election and May, 2014 GOP primary runoff in Dallas County.

Authorities became suspicious after tried to register to vote twice in Tarrant County, as reported by KDFW. Ortega claims she didn't understand the differences between the rights granted to citizens and those granted to legal residents.

How did someone get so far into the system to be allowed to register and vote multiple times before being detected? What does this say about failure of the government bureaucracy charged with executing our elections? It begs the question, what are the motives of those who simply want to look the other way? Do they not realize every person who votes in good faith seems like a fool?

Most people understand there's a difference between allowing non-residents/non-citizens to vote, eligibility criteria for being recognized as a citizen/resident/potential voter, and following the rules. Although good people can disagree on this, I believe the end does not justify the means.


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